Rise 'n Shine

Fall brings with it a desire for comfort foods. And breakfast provides a great opportunity to enjoy such foods. For me, there's nothing quite like being able to nibble leisurely at a plate of stuffed French toast. So, this month, I offer you my favorite rendition of this family favorite.

To make the most of this recipe, make sure you start with great bread. Freshly baked French bread that's both soft and stretchy will yield the best results. Layer a filling of cream cheese and pineapple between slices of bread, and you've got the beginnings of a beautiful French toast treat. Make sure that you allow the dish to refrigerate overnight to insure the dish to develop deeper flavor and a consistent texture. As you bake it, slice some fruit for a topping and enjoy nice and piping hot on a cold day!

I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . I'd also encourage you to experiment with this month's recipe and make it your own. Enjoy!

Pineapple-Stuffed French Toast

  • 1 loaf French bread (about 16 oz.)
  • 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. crushed pineapple, drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. margarine, melted

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Cut the French bread into 24 slices, each about 3/4-inch thick. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and pineapple until well-blended. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto 12 slices of the bread. Cover the filling with the other slices of bread to form 12 "sandwiches". Place them on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Beat together the eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the bread in the baking dish. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Turn the bread over, cover the baking pan, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Uncover the baking dish and drizzle the bread with the melted margarine. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Top with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes, plus chilling time